Ethno-National Conflict Resolution and EU Integration: A Justice-Based Approach


This paper looks at how differing conceptions of justice (Eriksen 2016) are reflected in, and impact upon, the EU’s efforts in the thematic area of ethno-national conflict resolution. As seen in the case studies of Serbia - Kosovo (Tomic 2020) and Cyprus (Diez 2019), the EU’s conflict resolution policy has been characterised by inconsistency. In each case, the EU showed potential for different approaches to justice to be utilised however the focus predominantly remained within a state-centred, approach. As ethno-national conflicts are based on a variety of factors, including territorial disputes, identity, culture and historical injustice, the limitations of justice within such a framework become evident, highlighting the potential of alternative justice models. Simultaneously the EU has aligned its conflict resolution strategy to its ongoing integration and enlargement policies. With enlargement directly linked to the EU’s efforts in conflict resolution, the two case studies show that the EU’s lack of coherence, vis-à-vis its enlargement strategy, prevents it from effectively contributing to ethno-national conflict resolution within its integration policy. In those cases where the EU membership is not the primary aim, the EU’s vision portrays a tentative balance between different approaches to global justice with consequences for policy coherence and effectiveness (Tomic and Tonra 2018). The conclusion provides a summary of considerations to be made for the EU’s role in global justice and ethno-national conflict resolution to be better aligned.

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Tags: Cooperation and conflict
Published May 18, 2020 12:41 PM - Last modified May 18, 2020 12:56 PM